How it was lit: Wynvyre (part 2)

In my previous blog I shared the first part of this session I shot with some of my favorite people - while my original intent was to work with just one light on set; I found myself incredibly inspired by how everything came together and I wanted to try something I wanted to do and try for a while: how does light (the absence) of light affect a shoot when shooting the exact same concept and styling? How does color changes the mood? And what would happen if we add more lights to enhance details in hair and make-up?

This session was perfect for it - as it had a beatiful hairstyling by Eline that would look incredible when using some backlit light; with also the red of the dress being an amazing combination with teal, my favorite kind of colorgel to use. While our first set was a minimum set-up of only using one broncolor light and an octabox; I’ve used almost my entire set of lamps for the following session: a siros 800 with a softlight reflector, my picolight with a fresnel and the move 1200 l with the octabox. I also changed the backdrop from dark grey to black - as I wanted just a minimum of “color bleeding” to distract from my subject. Lastly I kept the reflector on the right to ensure there wouldn’t be too many deep shadows.

It’s a set-up I never tried before - but I really loved how it all came together, better than I had anticipated in advance actually: I decided to use my picolight with fresnel on the left as the main highlight point of my image - giving just a little bit more strength so it would draw our eyes first there. Because broncolor their gear allow me to go even a tenth of the strenght, I could really work it in detail how much I needed, while equally doing the same on the other side to ensuring that my softlight reflector would give enough strength without dominating the scene. I wanted both lights to give a backlit feel in the hair and give a beautiful rimlight on her face and body.

To compensate the mostly backlit set, I used the octabox to fill in the remaining of the portrait I was taking - as I still wanted all the details of the make-up, hair and and styling to be clearly seen.

In post-processing I only enhanced the colors, mostly the red and teal, finished with some minor dodge and burn and cleaning up some distractions. For this capture one pro has been a massive gamechanger as I’m able to work much more in depth with my color work without affecting the quality of my images.


Want to read more about part 1? You can find my first blog where I shot the same set with just one light and a reflector by clicking the link!

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Gear I’ve used

broncolor move 1200L + octabox
broncolor picolight + fresnel attachment
broncolr siros 800 L + softlight reflector p
Giant white reflector

Shot on a Canon 5D Mark III with a 50mm 1.4
Edited in Capture One Pro & Photoshop

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Credits Creative team

Model - Luce Del Sole
Makeup & Hair - Eline Deblauwe
Dress - Maria Heller designs
Spine Necklace - Eero Hintsanen
Photography & Retouch - Laura Sheridan / Studio Sheridan’s Art

Light Diagram

Made with the light Diagram Creator

Made with the light Diagram Creator

My home studio: Part 2

If you didn’t see my previous post (my home studio), I highly recommend checking it out as it’s the first part of my small, humble home space where I’ve been working for the past two years on my business. I thought I would show a bit on where I spend way too much time when I’m not shooting but basically everything else: from writing blogs like this to my post-processing, emails and also some gaming each now & then.

When I’m working with clients, table are taken out and all set-up - transforming this place in an instant studio filled with music of their choice, tons of talking and giving people some serious make-overs that the studio has been know for.

But for now since I temporarily closed bookings due to too much work, I’ve been working mostly on my own here these days which has been a great breath of fresh air for me. It also made my space a bit more personal, as I tend to leave a lot of my personal belongings around. But for the biggest part, this is how it often looks. I wanted my space to be personal and cozy - both because I spend so much time here but also as I’ve heard from my clients they actually loved it felt like such a personal space. I’ve been playing into that a bit.

My room itself is kind of the same size as my studio, a bit wider maybe. And it works perfectly for what I need: I use half the space for wardrobe and storage (long live Ikea!) with the rest being an instant “interior” styling with some of my favorite designs or pieces I can’t store away due to space. There is also a bunch of flowers and plants basically everywhere I can: without those I feel this place gets cold and uncomfortable.

The dinosaurs I got to explain is a joke of my boyfriend, but I left them as they make me smile basically every single time I see them guarding my old camera collection.

My desk is one with two screens: one is for Netflix/Youtube so I can listen to some of my favorite series and movies when I’m editing or Spotify which usually is playing game music (like right now). My computer is one build by my boyfriend (as it’s his “old” one) - don’t ask me for the specifics. I don’t know. It works like a beast though and it even has lights in it so I’m happy. The rest is pretty straightforward: keyboard and mouse with an ergonomic mousepad (health first). A blanket on my chair because I get cold all the time.

Some of the corners are currently stacked: either with pieces I’ve sold and need to ship in the next day or two or some collabs (because I had to ship them back and I don’t have new boxes yet). It’s the safest place right now to keep those stacked as either my wardrobes are full, I’ve been working in the studio in the past days. It’s also a spot the cats never come, which is only extra points.

My view is on a park. Which is amazing. Again, green and nature makes me happy and I love hearing the birds - especially now with spring and summer. And my screen of course, duh.

So I hope you liked the insight in my cozy office! Again it’s humble and small, but again: it’s my space. I can work here, I can close the door at the end of a long day (and night). It’s at my home space as well so I can walk from work straight into my living room and welcome the cats anytime they need my immediate attention for cuddles (which happens every hour or so).

And it’s my space. It’s cool.

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Game Of Thrones: A Song of Queens & Ruins

I love Game of Thrones, as a geek, even way before the series where ever talked about. I think I had my first book of George R. R. Martin - which was the first book of GoT as we know it now - somewhere back in 2006, maybe 2007. Makes me feel old but hey - here I am nonetheless shooting one of my first shoots inspired by someone else their lifework!

The whole idea started when I reached out to Fairytas, asking if I could borrow any of her jawdropping amazing designs for another session in the Abbey of Villers because it’s my favorite place and I’m obsessed with her work. It felt like a match made in heaven. To my luck, she said yes and said she had the “red corset and cloak” I could borrow and kind of throw me of my chair when she showed me the actual design. If I wanted to borrow it of course. Needlessy to say I never said “yes” so quickly in my freaking life hahaha.

There was one lady I had in mind from the start and thats my dear friend Lucy aka Luce Del Sole, who we decided would be a great embodiement of a “Cersei” inspired character. Bitchface and wine in hand and all we love and like about the character. Considering our Lucy is one of the sweetest souls on earth, it was a hell of a lot of fun seeing her transform in some badass queen who takes no shit on set.

For this I knew I wanted to work again with my broncolor GenNEXT gear - specifically the siros 800 which is my current favorite as it’s so easy to transport, I have three batteries and I set it up anywhere with one of my tripods and a modifier. For this I wanted to keep it simple and just use the 60x100cm softbox as it gives a really nice fill in light that would work for almost all my 1-light setups - and at the same time allow me to practice and play around. It was one of my first bigger shoots using natural and artificial light together so I decided flexibility was the way to go.

We started shooting around high noon, which was basically super bright crazy hard sunlight I really do not like working with and definitely did not see for this set. But what I do like about bright sunlight is the gorgeous backglow it gives - so I positioned my model almost entirely with her back to it and used the siros on HS (high speed) so I could keep my aperture open for that bokeh I adore so much without having overexposed images. I pretty much decided to keep doing this for the rest of the shooting through all sets as this was exactly what I had in mind - and as extra, made the colors of the costumes and details pop out amazingly gorgeous.

For me this was one of the first times I felt I was able to use artifical and natural light like I had imagined it and it has inspired me to do a ton more shoots now (of which two more have already been shot). What I also love so much about it is basically the realisation right now that I have a lot more control about the light when working on location - which is gold for future potential clients. Since I’m lately obsessed by becoming technically better - I’m working on my weak points and that is mastering any light (and combination).

For this I do have to thank my amazing team: Lucy (Luce Del Sole) as model, Fairytas for letting me shoot her gorgeous designs, Shienra for being an awesome asisstant and friend, Lumecluster who has been collaborating with me with her epic Phoenix Gauntlets and of course: broncolor for choosing me to be part of the GenNEXT 2018 broncolor ambassadors. And of course: Abbeye De Villers for being such an awesome piece of heritage we can work at!

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Some behind the scenes I shot in between, everything is shot with both artificial as natural light.

My Home Studio: Part 1

- Want to see where I work? Check out part 2 here: my home office -

A lot of people seem to think I have this giant space. I do not. I actually never had more space then those 2 converted bedrooms I work in now and not so long ago I rented a small, bedroom sized commercial space. And even before that, I used to work in my studio between my bed and desk. And going even further back, I had to sit on my bed to even be able to shoot a half body. I started working with clients in the time I had a one-room living studio space. Good times.

I think space, as a whole, is something I’m right now in between proud and embarassement. It’s small and it’s stuffed full because I got too many awesome costumes and props and an amount of lights I’m not really able to place around yet have been managing kinda okay actually - considering where I got through that road in the past 3, 4 years of doing this studio stuff.

So right now, have an introduction in my space part 1! The next blog will be about my office, the one I’m working on right now while writing this and basically doing everything else when I’m not shooting in my studio or somewhere on an other location for the job.

But let’s talk about my magical place right now where I create about 99% of my work for the past 2 years that you see and probably has brought you to this blog all the way: Our appartment right now is pretty big, which means I was able to not only take one, but two bedrooms for my professional purposes of photography and everything surrounding it - which has been absolutely amazing as I never had this much space and even though right now I’m really feeling it’s limitations - I love the simplicity because it gives me a constant purpose to motivate and push those edges in all directions. There is nothing more, it’s all I have. And it has learned me to think only within the frame of my camera, not outside of it.

I also got pretty good at figuring out space-management, which was until not so long ago owning between 300 to 400 costume pieces (including as far as 8 sets of armor), a bunch of lamps & modifiers thanks to the GenNEXT broncolor program, a ton of material like my giant reflector (I use to avoid light bouncing off my wall) and way too many colored backdrops. An ikea wardrobe became a partial costume storage (also becoming an awesome interior styling thing), holding also a ton of modifiers & props I use during shooting and other technical equipment - finished with a piece painted by my dear friend Shienra featuring “Triss Merigold” from the Witcher. Behind my backdrop I have my own armor and weapon armory (that 1m35 backdrop hides three full sets of plate armor, way too many fake and real weapons and some loose pieces for example), the corners have been transformed to one side some more light equipment and my authentic harpoon (yup) while the other is the “backdrop spot” where I can easily pick and store anything I don’t use.

When I’m not using my lamps; I usually store them all in front of my backdrop - keeping 2/3rd of my studio free which is easier to clean and keep track of; but when I’m working I usually put them on my left when shooting as they’re not in the way of either myself or the set.

Against my “free” wall I have stored some mannequins, which is just easier to store another 2 sets of armor. They also hold some stools to sit on - but it’s also where I often put my main light; which is why I don’t bother to cover that wall as the light comes from that direction anyway. The other side I have my (by accidentely way too big) reflector; which is my most beloved thing now because it doubles both as anti-light for deeper shadows but also as a bigger and especially higher backdrop when my model(s) and/or sets are too tall. Two-in-one is awesome.

And that’s about it. Do I want a bigger space? Please yes. I REALLY do. But until then, it’s my cozy space.
Am I a bit embarrased and shy to share this finally? I actually do. It feels in a way unprofessional to share how small and humble my space is to be honest, but at the same time: this is what it is. I don’t nééd more to be able to do what I do and I know once I hit a new chapter in life - one with hopefully a bigger space - I am aware how lucky I am to have it and how many crazy opportunities that is giving me. And I can basically work almost anywhere by now because I’m not bothered as much by what (isn’t) there.

The entrance to the studio of my alternative reality from day to day.

The entrance to the studio of my alternative reality from day to day.

My studio: 1m35 of colorama paper fun I have worked on since the earliest days of purchasing this in 2015. I went through about 3 black backdrop rolls by now - but most of my rolls have been going strong since the start. it’s pretty crooked - but I don’t cut it off unless it’s like literally falling apart from (ab)use as I don’t always shoot full body and backdrop paper is expensive … Currently it has two new holes into it due to yesterday’s evening shoot (woops).  The studio holds the following equipment: a broncolor siros 800, a move 1200 with 2 lamps, a beautydish, an octabox, two stripboxes (30x120cm on permanent lamps - my other is folded up and away), there is also a para, a picolight with various attachments and some various stuff that is either brandless or fun tools.

My studio: 1m35 of colorama paper fun I have worked on since the earliest days of purchasing this in 2015. I went through about 3 black backdrop rolls by now - but most of my rolls have been going strong since the start. it’s pretty crooked - but I don’t cut it off unless it’s like literally falling apart from (ab)use as I don’t always shoot full body and backdrop paper is expensive … Currently it has two new holes into it due to yesterday’s evening shoot (woops).

The studio holds the following equipment: a broncolor siros 800, a move 1200 with 2 lamps, a beautydish, an octabox, two stripboxes (30x120cm on permanent lamps - my other is folded up and away), there is also a para, a picolight with various attachments and some various stuff that is either brandless or fun tools.

Armor & Smoke

There are a few things I’ve been not so lowkey obsessed with for some years and that has been shooting a lot of concepts and stories fueled by inspiration that comes from armor, knights and shieldmaidens. It kinda kicked off with Arcadia; it turned into a second sister series called “Requiem” and here we are right now, fast forward to 2019; doing what I love most: causing some havoc.

For this set I got to thank my dear friend Erik, who both graciously let me work on his private land with the smoke bombs as well as offering his stronger smokebombs after I not-so-graciously forgot to check all weather conditions except wind. Which turned out to be pretty heavy that day and proved to be a bit of a challenge to control. But all by all: things turned out amazing!

This set was originally intended to be part of my broncolor GenNEXT program but after seeing the results on set I wasn’t completely satisfied - not due to technical matters; but simply because I had seen something far bigger in my head and I decided that this would just be a “little pre-study” ; one that seriously impressed and inspired me:

Shooting with popular elements like smoke bombs are easily repeated; Pinterest (and my moodboard) are full of awesome shots yet often touch on the same kind of approach, with the same goes for all “knight in the wood” themes. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I like to turn things around a bit, even just a little. For this I decided I would introduce a lot of color; partially because I absolutely love color and using this in my work but also as it’s not something I’ve seen done before a lot. For me there is something really inspiring about using some unusual elements and bringing these together and see it come to life in front of me. This here was no exception.

I shot this with both artificial light as natural; for a full run-down and explanation I will guide you to my Patreon where I cover the entire topic, light set-ups and some knowledge I picked up on the road. The lights I did use on set are from broncolor, both a siros 800 and my move 1200.


Credits

Model - Larp Vision
Assistence - Nzoye, Shienra, Maki & Erik
Armor - Mytholon

Lights - broncolor
Edited in Capture One Pro & Photoshop

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When we realised the smaller smoke bombs didnt work as good, Erik went for his red ones and we decided to make the best out of our waiting by shooting on the nearby field with the available natural light. I really like the simplicy of these yet their deep storytelling and have made me realise yet again that you don’t need a crazy amount of backdrop or set if you have a great costume and styling available (or vice versa, in other cases). Shienra was our amazing assistant who harnassed the cloak so the wind could really blow into it and create that amazing flow I was looking for.